Press release from the Office of Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; April 16, 2013:
(April 16, 2013, NASHVILLE) – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today praised the passage of Senate Bill 783 sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin). The bill extends the reforms enacted by the Unemployment Accountability Act of 2012 and protects the unemployment trust fund from a federally initiated expansion.
“In 2011, I went on a Red Tape Road Trip to take the pulse of our state’s business owners. The message I received was loud and clear: our unemployment system must be reformed,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “This bill is a continuation of our reforms last year under the Unemployment Accountability Act of 2012. This legislation creates further protections for job creators while saving job creators from having to pick the tab for Obama’s stimulus expansion. I commend the sponsor for shepherding this much-needed piece of legislation.”
Senate Bill 783 updates the unemployment misconduct definition to include conduct constituting a criminal offense for which the claimant has been convicted or charged. The legislation further provides for reconsideration of benefits up to one year if a claimant is subsequently convicted of a misdemeanor or felony related to their termination. Additionally, the bill mandates departmental training of unemployment hearing officers as well as increasing weekly audits from 1,000 to 1,500.
As amended, the bill also protects Tennessee taxpayers from continuing to pay for an expansion of unemployment benefits originally funded under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. This amendment will save the state and taxpayers an estimated $62.5 million annually.